Things That Make Me Go “AARRGGHH!!”

If you are a friend / fan / follower of mine on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’m a Late Night with Jimmy Fallon fan. I think he’s one of the most talented and genuinely nice people in television today. Whether he’s acting, singing, playing guitar, or doing amazing impressions (especially of rock stars), he’s just genuinely funny without ever being mean-spirited or crude.

He’s also a great interviewer because he’s still such a fan himself; he’s somehow managed to avoid becoming jaded by his own success. (I’d better stop now; I sound like a groupie!)

Anyway, one of his signature bits on Late Night – the “Thank You Notes” segment – is exactly what it sounds like – Jimmy writing notes to a mix of news stories that have given his show the most material over the past week, as well as silly jokes about people and objects that he thinks deserve a nod.

Well, I know we’re supposed to be in full-on “thankful” mode, this being the week of Thanksgiving and all, so here are my own tongue-in-cheek thank-yous to some of the businesses I’ve had to deal with in the last couple of weeks that just made me want to go “aarrgghh!!” There are lessons here for all of us. Cue the background music … 🙂 (more…)

Are You Blogging? Or Just “BLAH-ging”?

Charlie Brown's TeacherI posted an entry last week about making your blog the “hub” of your online marketing efforts – and it really seemed to strike a chord with many of my blog and eNewsletter subscribers. But the resounding question remains, “What am I supposed to blog about?”

Remember the sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher in the Peanuts cartoon specials? Yeah. You don’t want to be her.

In order to engage an audience on an ongoing basis (more…)

The “Hub” of Your Online Marketing

Social Media PuzzleOnline marketing can be very confusing, if not overwhelming.

It’s a big contraption with lots of moving parts.

Even if you’re already involved in some fashion – posting to a Facebook Business page or tweeting out your company’s latest news or even just checking in to LinkedIn a couple of times a week – there’s a pretty good chance your thoughts sometimes drift off in the direction of …

I don’t really have the time to do this as well as I’d like. There’s got to be a better way – without spending half my week on it!

So, how do you make the online portion of your marketing program easier to implement and succeed at? (more…)

How NOT to Greet Your Prospects & Clients for the Holidays

As an early adopter of email marketing who now helps others harness the power of online and social media marketing to move their businesses forward , I felt compelled to send a little note to a company I follow on social media when I received their 2010 holiday email greeting.

I’m keeping their name to myself, for reasons that will become obvious to you:

“All of us at [Company X] would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday. [So far, so good…] If its [sic] Chanukah or Kwanza [sic], Solstice, harvest or December twenty-fifth; Peace on earth to everyone and abundance to everyone you’re with. Happy Holidays”

Yes, there are also usage, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization errors in the body copy as well, further tarnishing what should have been a welcome holiday greeting – reason enough to call them out. But to name no fewer than four December holidays and then to allude to Christmas simply as “December twenty-fifth” – well, I’m amazed. No, make that appalled.

With the stroke of a pen – well, the tap of a keyboard – they’ve just potentially offended fully one-third of their audience. Of course, that’s only if their reach is worldwide. But for this particular company, it’s much worse. You see, their market is exclusively the United States, which means they have potentially alienated over 75 percent of their market!

I can guarantee that a certain percentage of those receiving their email will not want to hear anything more from them after this slight – that is, they will opt out of future emails. Some will actually complain to the company, but others will share their anger online – on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other online forums – and they’ll name names!

Depending on how diligent the company is about monitoring these channels and addressing potentially reputation-wrecking complaints across the media spectrum, they will either rebound from this and maybe even win over a few new fans or they will experience the very expensive sting of watching enough of their future marketing efforts fall on deaf ears that they will be left scratching their heads and wondering why.

Your Takeaway: Please, please take extra care with ALL of your business communications. If you do not have someone on staff who fully understands the critical importance of your interaction with your prospects, clients, customers, vendors, employees, and others – and knows how to use that knowledge consistently to build and maintain your brand – your investment in outsourcing those responsibilities will pay you back tenfold.